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Art & Words 2020


The power of one form of art over another fascinates me. Many art forms — visual arts, literary arts, music — carry the influence of those that came before and it’s always exciting for me to discover the little pieces of one artist informing another.

For this exhibition, I invited a few visual artists and poets with whom I have worked in the hopes that their art would inspire one another to create. The artists and poets were given the opportunity to submit existing art and poetry. The art was sent to poets and poetry sent to the artists who selected poems or pieces of art that spoke to them from the submitted work. Participants were then asked to create a new piece of art—be it a visual art piece or poem—based on the original inspiration. All of the artists and poets that are participating in Art & Words rely heavily on visuals and I knew that pairing their art form with another would be successful. I wasn’t disappointed. Art & Words holds something for everyone in both visual and written forms.

I wish to personally thank the those that came together to make Art & Words one of my favorite exhibitions, and to those artists who brought my own poetry to life and to another level. I have been told by many artists and poets that they were challenged and that the project was a great creative reward. Please view the exhibition and spend some

time looking deep into both the poetry and artwork to see the connections made between the artists and poets. Hopefully you too will discover your own connections.

Robert P. Langdon, Curator

April 2020

(click on image for more information and to purchase)

Tina Piccolo

Poet In Ruins

Collage and oil on cradled wood

16" x 16"

Inspired by the poem Poet In Ruins

Jack Braunlein

Poet In Ruins (2020)

Acrylic on canvas on panel

12" x 12"

Inspired by the poem Poet In Ruins

Geta Badea

Il mio Giocondo

raw antique cotton, clear and white gesso, charcoal, pen, several types of gel medium and liquid glass medium, clear oil sticks, oils, marouflage(d) on wood cradled masonite panel

48" x 24.5"

Inspired by the poem Poet In Ruins

Painted on antique cotton weaved by my maternal grandma from cotton grown on their farm and weaved by her on a horizontal, manual loom built by grandpa. I remember, as a kid, her teaching me to weave on it for hours and hours and never get tired. I wish, I could bring that loom home, here but it probably was given away or even destroyed after their passing away. Both of my grandmas nowadays would have been hailed as great fabric and rug and tapestry weavers. Unfortunately, I never recognized their talent until I started painting! – Geta Badea

Poet In Ruins

a tormented soul

trapped in an ancient life,

as the world moves on,

tangled trees and vines,

allow themselves the liberty

to overtake her home,

oppressive icy stone wall,

and weathered wrought iron,

panes freed of their

leaded windows,

doors rusted open

like her pained heart,

she writes effortlessly

in the old style,

with a sharp feather,

and liquid as dark

as her scars

– © Michelle DeCicco

Geta Badea

La mia Gioconda — The Vain One

raw cotton, acrylics, watercolors, gesso, gel mediums, silver and shining reflecting mediums, charcoal, Stabilo pencils, oil sticks marouflage(d) on Masonite panel and wood cradles

51" x 26.5"

Inspired by the poem Vanity


They found you sprawled across the bathroom floor.

Your wrinkled face brushing smooth tile.

You didn’t have time to put on your wig.

It was on your nightstand lovingly placed

atop the styrofoam stand-in awaiting tease and spray.

Did you forget about your appointment that morning?

If you had remembered, would you have kept your wig on,

wrapped it in toilet paper and slept on your back

with your hands folded over your bosom so your elbows

would keep you from rolling over onto your stomach?

If you had known, would you have made yourself pretty

to be made prettier the way you did before visiting the beauty parlor?

Applied mascara to your brittle lashes so that each time your gay

hairdresser flirted, they would appear strong and supple

when you batted them? Outlined your lips above their sagging crowns

and colored between the lines with the red of desire?

If you had known about your appointment today,

would you have put your life in order like the nail polish organized

by shade? Spent your last hours with your children and their children

offering one lasting hug and ‘I love you’?

Or would you have mixed yourself a Tom Collins and spent that time

looking into the mirror, fussing over yourself, and getting ready?

— © Robert P Langdon

Ann Morris

Proof (2020)

Paper collage and acrylic on board

12" x 12"

Inspired the poem The Hidden Sex

The Hidden Sex


Hidden children, girls,

Innocence tower bound in their youth.

But, in their adolescence,

secretly practicing

Sun and Moon Goddess worship

Hands flung up

In close proximity

Creating spider web constellations

Mixing magic and menstruation

Sensuously in thrall with their own bodies

Growing the parts of them they could signal with.

Hair equals lust equals sin equals freedom

Princess or peasant the story starts the same

She was sin-sational slipping

Behind gauzy panels at the narrowest window


Vocalizations of honey and musk

Lead to blinded eyes and

Dresses that need to be loosened

Saule freed by the Zodiac,

Left Scorpio crimson coloring the scene with lustful eyes

sledge swinging.

Rudaba lowered dark hair chains

Proposing Confidante chaperoned conversations

awakened love and defiance.

Petrosinella, proficient with poppies

Gold ladder beckoning

Repeatedly romancing the besotted prince

Someone is craving

Someone commits a crime

someone is sacrificed

the innocent are punished

someone is found

someone escapes

someone is left,

and there is a joining.

– © Natalie Boburka, 2020

Yvonne Rojas-Cowan

Catrina Selfie (2019)

Acrylic on canvas

12" x 12"

Inspired the poem Behind the Camera

Behind the Camera

When we were hearts

Our hearts were flowers

Dark Charged ribs

Encased such power

Priestess cool assessing gaze

Deity lost no offerings claimed

Smugly crowns her head raised

Hair spun wild coils inflamed.

Bird whisper shoulder and color glazed

Grows a garden and hides her pain

tattooed skin cloak pattern blazed

Camouflage magic and pretends she’s tamed.

– © Natalie Boburka, 2020

Yvonne Rojas-Cowan

Lost In the Colors of My Soul (2020)

Acrylic on canvas

20" x 19"

Inspired by the poem Come


I’ve travelled through the shades of red —

the pink of birth and the blush of adolescence.

The candy of passion, the rose of love

and the scarlet stench of loss.

I’ve swayed with the blues all of my life —

the electric coolness of cobalt. The back and forth

mania of indigo calming itself down to an azure

and finally finding peace in the tranquility of periwinkle.

The yellows have always energized me —

they feed me the sun and keep me smiling. I have gone

one on one with butterscotch but can sometimes be a whole

grain mustard. I am part sour lemon part sappy honey. But all golden.

The greens have always been a challenge — I’ve protested

the army and hunters. Chopped the basils and mints.

My toes have been tickled by moss and my senses

titillated by chartreuse. The greens have been friend and foe.

But these days the colors are beginning to blend and create new hues.

My footprints have oxidized into a mixture of vibrancy and grey.

Darker patches streaking and stroking beckon me to come.

But they took that away from me. I can’t anymore.

— © Robert P. Langdon

Yvette Lewis

Memory of Singing (2020)

Acrylic on paper

20" x 13"

Inspired by the poem Clio's Song: A Prayer

Clioʼs Song: A Prayer

Come in you weary traveler and rest your mind awhile

Your offering is sweet and tender though

Born through a weary mile, 

And I can restore your memory to things long lost in time,

And I will have you inscribe your thoughts in fine and measured line, 

Then I will restring your lyre for you and tune to an ancient mode,

So you could sing your song for me before you head out on your road. 

Much later in your travels, when Time and Road run out,

And you come back to me with your mind in clouds of doubt,

Then I will reveal the memory from those who have gone before

That shines yet bright and brilliant and will forever more.

And it will be a beacon to you still when your time and space upend For

the road goes on forever and the journey never ends.

— © Jack Braunlein

Loel Barr

Lemons (2020)

Digital photography

11" x 14"

Inspired by the poem Thoughts On Lemons As Mother Reads the New Yorker And the Cancer Is Still Only a Single Cell in Her Lungs

Thoughts on Lemons as Mother Reads the New Yorker

And the Cancer Is Still Only a Single Cell in Her Lung

Lemons sliced thin beside the penguin

ice bucket, Cinzano Vermouth, Gordon’s

Dry Gin. Slice me a lemon, Dear?

Mother’s hand raised as I hold the lemon

perfect in the palm of mine, rolling.

The evergreen orange citron mix

elliptic protruding nipple apex. Stacked

in yellow grocery bins trucked in from

Arizona, rows soaking heat on waxy

leaves, thorned, spreading. Faintly pitted,

slightly ribbed fine-grained tender sunken

oil glands’ secret skin, bitter pith hidden

beneath. How could we know? Juice soaked

sections, flesh encased inside, yellow

radiating segments in a crystal dish. How

could we even ask? Returning with

Crusaders from Palestine, golden seeds

on Spanish sailing ships, have you watched

us these two thousand years your true home

unknown? They withhold water until you wilt,

then surge it through to induce a second bloom.

Can you hear the earthworms in silt and loam?

Do you fear crinkly leaf, heart rot, purple scab,

twist of witherlip, wild rabbits. What begins in

the universe of a singe cell, crooked atoms

that spin into endless black space? (I am

sometimes that little.) I sink my serrated

knife into feathery flesh pockets pitted

in the smudged shine. Fragrant glands burst

pungent, as Mother lights up another Lucky.

(Do you fear the smallest things?)

— © Anique Sara Taylor

Natalie Boburka

Dreaming of Lilith


38" x 18" x 16"

Inspired by the poem The Voice of Lilith

The Voice of Lilith

They teach you to fold linen napkins.

Place each one between salad and dinner

plate. Seat male next to female to male.

Spoon mousse into fluted crystal.

Press your father’s shirts, yoke first.

Then seam. Button facing. Cuff.

Match socks, warm from the dryer,

as if that is all there is.

They warn you of my needle talons

to kidnap children in the night.

To a place of thorns, thistles, nettles,

Owl shadows, where night birds gather

and no one has ever been so alone.

You sleep to the symphony of tree frogs,

from the swamp behind your house

as cocktail voices merge into midnights.

You race down dream hills into the wind,

to fly above broken branches as I whisper

into the solar system of your cells.

In the unfolded morning your shy mouth

sewn shut, your thirsty heart tries to

remember. They try to convince you

I don’t exist, afraid they will discover —

Each night, as the edge of suburban surface

fades and dark matter begins to form,

you pray for me to carry you away.

— © Anique Sara Taylor

Josepha Gutelius

Green Thumb (2020)

Acrylic on canvas

16" x 20"

Inspired by the poem Eden


This time

She was all thought and no action

Theoretically her faith in an actively

Peaceful Planet

had taken enough hits to be

spit out by now

Just a spreading stain on the pavement.

She began to look intently

for signs

of Spring

She could seal the deal

by feasting on bursting dandelions

and surreal daffodil visions

Spot an eagle and she could

last for a week.

If things got really bad

she could always


Naked and Serpentless

in the Garden.

— © Natalie Boburka

Josepha Gutelius

Blinded By the Light (2020)

Acrylic on canvas

16" x 20"

Inspired by the poem Blinded By the Light

Ellen McKay

Take My Hand (2020)

Acrylic on cradled panel

16" x 16"

Inspired by the poem Blinded By the Light

Blinded By the Light

Hold my hand

and we will make it through this world

of vivid colors

shadowed eyes

and caterpillar lashes.

This world that they want

us to join

of questioning morals

renegade artists

and wastely ways.

Stick with me

as we start our journey

but be aware. For they are out

to hook you with their promises

of democracy, freedom, and bikinis.

Keep your feet grounded and face covered

and do not expose your self.

For we will finish this passage

that our forefathers foretold.

And we will remain golden.

— © Robert P Langdon

Ellen McKay

New Map (2020)

Acrylic and charcoal on linen on cradled panel

20" x 24"

Inspired the poem

New Map: Haiku for Peggy Wright

My pathway tangled,

Then she gave me a new map.

Look! The page is blank!

My map gone, destroyed.

Who guides by moon, stars, or heart?

Blue angel flying!

Monday. Dogs baying.

Stillness hangs over rooftops,

There! Eagle in flight

Grey clouds move slowly

Wrapped in shrouds, a new burden,

What a gorgeous day!

Red maple outside

Today, bright, sunny, flaming,

I am a willow.

Shadows on my wall

She told me about the cave,

What’s that behind me?

If he is not here

How can I kill the Buddha?

Children are laughing.

— © Jack Braunlein

Jack Braunlein

Within the Sky Earth (2020)

Acrylic on paper

10.5" x 14.5"

Inspired the poem

Sky Within Earth

I am inside the earth. Am I buried? Am I covered by sack-cloth dirt, a mud-shroud

of my own making? I look up, openings give onto sky, clear blue, pale as a sigh,

a sigh of relief to see the outer world now made of Ether. Ether of my own making?

I could rise up from my grave and be counted among those who hear the call---to be

churned into peaks by strong hands, hands that pound me, thwack me down on the

table, roll me out flat, roll me up into coils, fold me, knead me pound me again until

I am solid, nary an air bubble left. So I won’t explode. It’s not over yet. Large hands of

my own making? Now what? I’m a mound of clay spinning on the wheel, deft fingers

pull me up little by little slippery slick coaxing my form, rounding my belly, narrowing

my neck, broadening my mouth. A gasp of surprise. Now I have curved walls, an inside.

I slide into the kiln, stand up in the heat as the fires rage. Fires of my own making? It’s

not over yet. I glow red in the blast. On and on and I am white hot, then pink. Now I

am cooling down. I can hold water. I can hold grain, flowers. What do you mean,

“there’s more”!? I thought I was done. A sigh of pleasure as the glazes flow cool over

my body. I am splashed, splattered, painted. At eight-hundred celsius flames dress me

in glass garments. I emerge, radiant, my drips hold depths, like water running down my

sides --waters of my own making? Called, I came to wear green and cream and yellow,

Sancai colors with small spaces left bare. Am I ready to accompany the living in their

daily ceremonies, honor the dead, buried with them— be a gift, bequeathed, lost,

remembered, unearthed, cherished? Have I become a real vessel? The water is cold;

the peonies, fragrant.

— © Ellen McKay

Ken Tannenbaum

Single Wide With View (2019)


21" x 17"

Inspired the poem crushed trust

crushed trust

the twinkle in your eyes

captured my heart

the words you whispered

spoke of my reveries

you promised me everything

i was blinded

i didn’t see

you mesmerized me into your dream

there was writing

on the walls

i couldn’t read

you wrapped me up

so very tightly

into your scheme


that never materialized


falsehoods disguised

you spoke of homes

and gardens

and me dripping in jewels

lots of kids in our yard

2 dogs, a cat and a bird

and for my quiet place

a she shed out back

the plans

for vacations

that never occurred

and when inquired

you claimed

me a shrew



gave up

but you

with that twinkle in your eyes



a surprise

pack your belongings

we move on the morrow

we drove

we drove

we drove for a week

far from a city

suburb or town

passing through

small villages

and many bare plots


a castle

high on some hill


a crystal-clear lake

rather than

ending here

his secret dream

in a trailer

with a view

— © gwynneth green